This week’s episode began with a wonderful shot of Ser Davos’ shocked/disturbed/thrilled/disbelieving face as previously departed Jon choked his way back to life. I loved that shot. I think he pretty much nailed what any of us would be feeling in such a moment. He also summed it up pretty well when having a nice post-post-mortem chat with Jon, what has happened to him is indeed ‘Completely fucking mad’. But it has happened and it’s a brave new world for the Night’s Watch. When Jon saw Edd in the crowd I was hoping someone had filled him in on how awesome Edd had been while Jon was indisposed – and judging by the end of the episode, someone had!
Meanwhile, poor old Samwell is suffering from a bout of seasickness on a ship I honestly couldn’t remember the reason for him being on (thankfully he reminded me later by explaining he was going to the citadel in Oldtown to become a Maester). I should by now, like Gilly, trust Sam, because he has done surprisingly well for himself so far. However, there is just something about him that makes me fear the worst whenever I see him. Maybe his plan for Gilly and Baby Sam (now adorably declared as Son of Sam) to stay with the Tarly family is a good plan. Maybe it is not. Though I do look forward to seeing them!
Speaking of things I looked forward to seeing: The Tower of Joy. Young Ned. Ser Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning. Young Lyanna…? Big let-down. Maybe I was foolish to think they’d tell us the whole story this early on, but when all we get is a Targaryen-Stark fight scene and a distant woman’s scream, I can’t help but feel somewhat cheated! Ok, it was interesting to know that Ned may have been editing his past in his stories to Bran and it’s a good set up for future flashbacks, but mainly I was just cheering Bran on as he insisted he wanted to see more… Alas Old Tree Man is in charge here. I bet Bran never expected to be reassured by the words: ‘You won’t be an old man in a tree.’ Phew. Either way, Bran’s interest has been piqued and I’m hoping we’ll be able to follow Young Ned inside that tower before too long…
Before I waffle on too much about that, I’d think we’d better skip over to the east where Varys is being threatening in a vague, alarming way. I’d almost forgotten he could be like that. It seems to have worked as he neatly gathered the information needed with the aid of a bag of silver and what was basically old-time witness protection (I believe they call that using the carrot, not the stick). Said information being that the Sons of the Harpy are bankrolled jointly by Astapor, Yunkai and Volantis. Not a huge surprise but as Tyrion said, at least they know it’s coming from outside, not within. Can’t wait to see how this develops! A lot of my attention in this whole segment was taken by the hilariously awkward ‘conversation’ Tyrion kept attempting with Grey Worm and Missandei. Pete Dinklage shone yet again, gleefully wringing every inch of awkwardness of the moment – and props to Nathalie Emmanuel and Jacob Anderson as well for playing it so straight!
While all this is occurring, their poor queen has of course arrived at Vaes Dothrak. To be honest I’m not super excited about this plot line: so far it just feels like a major side-track for Daenerys, just something to keep her occupied until the rest of the plot is ready for her. I hope to be proven wrong! One thing is absolutely certain: she will not take kindly to a bunch of Khals deciding her fate and a bunch of former Khaleesi ordering her around. Time to throw down, Dany, come on!
Back in the west, Qyburn is taking over Varys’ position of Master of Whispers and doing pretty well at it – well ok, so far he’s just running with the concept ‘kids like sweets’ but it seems to be going ok. Shame it happened just as Varys was saying (thousands of miles away) how much he’d always trusted his little birds… what timing! Qyburn, the Lannisters and the new Ser Gregor certainly do make an alarming team, lurking in dark places and laughing evil laughs at each other (I may have imagined that bit). Nonetheless, the Small Council don’t seem remotely scared and simply choose to walk out of their own meeting. Well, good for them! I continue to bemoan this dark path Jaime is heading down, Cersei’s influence on him is NOT a good one, but considering what he’s watched his family go through I’m not stunned by his decisions. I loved Olenna’s burn about Maegary being the queen she was referring to; it’s very nice to see her again and all I can really hope for is that she personally will slap the smug smile off the High Sparrow’s face. He is driving me mad, and if that dopey Tommen listens to him for one second I’ll be adding another name to my bloody list (mainly just people I want to slap. Come on, I’m not Arya)
Oh yes. Arya. The other storyline I’m really not into. Every week I gain a bit of hope, and finally this week she stopped having to fight that girl and actually regained her sight. I know Jaquen finally seems convinced that she is ‘no one’ but I continue to question her conviction: don’t forget, she still has Needle safely hidden away. I think No one is bit more fond of her identity than the Faceless Men can comprehend.
More laughs were had as a very grumpy member of the Umber family had words with Ramsay Bolton – refreshing to see a straight talker around that crazy kid, especially now his poor ‘beloved father’ is gone. Alas, this being Game of Thrones, laughter turned to tears as Mr Umber revealed his ace: Rickon Stark (and Osha). And. And. The head of Shaggydog. Another direwolf dead. It’s damn sad day for the north, I can tell you that. (Possibly I should be more focused on how Bolton now has a whole bunch of extra men and plans to storm up north and decimate Jon and company. But I’m not.)
And lastly, we end where we began in the frozen wastes of the deep north. Jon is putting the traitors to death. He quite obviously takes no joy in it, we know he isn’t that sort of man (thankfully even resurrected Jon isn’t that sort of man) but he does it because he sees it as necessary. What else could have happened? The real surprise was what happened next: his watch is over. Edd is the new commander – I knew someone would tell Jon how great he did – and Jon is out of there! To which I say: fair enough, off you go! Your watch lasts until you die, ok you died. Everything after is unknown territory…
Final grade: C
- Thanks for the lesson on homophones Gilly, super helpful. Although I guess there isn’t tons to do while stuck on a ship with a vomiting Sam.
- Young Ned really reminded me of Neil Patrick Harris. Something about the eyes. It was super weird watching long-haired Barney Stinson fighting Targaryens.
- Is there any chance of Melisandre popping down to Winterfell to repeat her resurrection party trick on Shaggydog? Please? But not if they’ve only got his head. That would be horrific. Sorry.
- I loved Jaime standing in for the audience by asking ‘What exactly did you do with the Mountain? Why’s he all weird now?’